What kinds of eCommerce problems are you facing right now?
eCommerce is a great way to make a living, but it isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. It can be tough to face the daily challenges. It takes a lot of consistent, hard work to make it. No sugar coating here, a lot of people fail. They fail because they aren’t prepared to deal with the eCommerce problems that pop up along the way. They fail because they don’t have the necessary strategies to prepare for challenges and prevent disaster.
Facing eCommerce problems in inevitable. Failing at business is not. Here are 7 common eCommerce problems that an online seller could run into. Knowing what they are is half the battle. Bring your A-game and you will be ready to get down and run interference for the win.
eCommerce Problem #1 – Finding a Reliable Supplier
You might know the best research methods to find suppliers and source great products that will blow away your customers. Finding reliable suppliers who won’t let you down is another thing altogether.
First, consider what business model you are using. Are you looking for drop ship suppliers? Is it online or retail arbitrage that you depend on? Know who you need and exactly what qualifications they should have that will tell you they are a good bet.
Second, you’re not going to be able to simply buy access to a supplier database and expect to be all set in a day. If you want to make it past your first year in business, you’re going to have to spend that year buckled down tight. Do your research. Talk to each supplier. There are no shortcuts if you really want to build a business that will be there for the long haul.
eCommerce Problem #2 – Choosing Your Product Niche
Many entrepreneurs might advise that what you sell doesn’t really matter as much as just getting started selling. This might sound like very good news to those whose emergent eCommerce problem is figuring out which niche of products to sell. If that’s you, I’m sorry to bum you out, but you’re going to have a much bigger eCommerce problem down the line if you haven’t yet found your niche.
Make that investment in testing out a few products. Then you will be able to discover that special niche that you can serve best and that will best serve you in return. Finding your niche products really is step 1 in the process of building a business.
eCommerce Problem #3 – Too Much Competition
With hundreds of thousands of sellers on Amazon alone, it’s no wonder that competition is one of the biggest eCommerce problems. You make that determination to find your special niche and the platform that’s right for you. What do you find at every turn? Loads of other sellers are already competing on those marketplaces for the specific niches that you took an interest in. It can be very discouraging.
However disappointing, this is all the more reason to keep at it. You don’t want to build another hot dog stand next to the one that’s been there for a few years – and don’t forget that other, bigger one that’s right around the corner. You want to offer something that shoppers won’t find in that neighborhood, something that they want and need right now. Put up a soda stand and anyone who wasn’t thirsty before is going to be after that hotdog.
eCommerce Problem #4 – Converting Visitors
One eCommerce problem that I know every business owner has worried about is conversions. Every entrepreneur has at one point or another had trouble turning raw store traffic into paying customers. You don’t necessarily need to burn the candle at both ends to get this one under control. If you have done your due diligence in researching your target market, you’re already well on your way to solving this one.
Learning about your target customers goes hand in hand with researching the products you are thinking of selling. If you know who they are, what they like and where to find them, marketing to them becomes much easier. Don’t take shots in the dark. Reveal your target’s soft spots and take careful aim. It’s hard to miss the mark when you know what to arm yourself with.
eCommerce Problem #5 – Failed Advertising
Do you know any trigger happy entrepreneurs? Are you one of those guys who goes straight for paid ads then ends up crying over wasted spend? Wasting money on Facebook Ads and other PPC options is a real eCommerce problem. Proper investment in online advertising is not. When you first get started, there is going to be a bit of waste, but what new venture doesn’t have its fair share of error alongside the trial? This is why we have what we call margins – margins of error, that is.
Failed advertising can become a valuable learning experience if your ad experiments are done right from the beginning. Have you considered consulting or hiring an expert instead of playing around with it yourself? This can save you a lot of heartache. Whatever you choose, make sure you go back to the books and learn more about PPC before diving headlong into it. Slowly but surely beats headstrong and fancy free every time.
eCommerce Problem #6 – Lower Margins
The drop ship model is a great one to start with, especially when you’re bootstrapping. One of the unavoidable eCommerce problems that comes along with this is lower margins. You don’t have a lot of control over what you’re going to sell next year because the supply just might not be there. You can’t take advantage of super sales that you can cash in on in a few months because you don’t stock product.
Drop shipping can help you start selling and scale faster even when you don’t have a huge pile of capital. But it’s not a magic solution that brings endless bounty. Expect lower margins and adjust your expectations. Enjoy the fact that you don’t have to worry about inventory or shipping out products. Focus on getting more orders and making sure that your reliable suppliers are living up to your customers’ expectations. You’ll soon make up the difference and it won’t matter that your margins are small.
eCommerce Problem #7 – Time
After dealing with all these eCommerce problems, you can relax – psych! The harsh truth is that all these eCommerce problems don’t even make up half of the time that you need to spend on your business. You already need to be spending almost all your time just getting things running and keeping them going on a daily basis. Time becomes your next big challenge. What to focus on? Where to cut back? The answer to these two questions, if you want to succeed, is everything and nothing – in that order.
The solution to your problem of time is to get help. Find the eCommerce tools that can automate processes so they don’t suck you dry. Find the right people to whom you can pass things off to help ease your burden.
The Ball’s in Your Court
These are just 7 of the many eCommerce problems that you might face as you build and grow. But if you keep your eye on the ball, you can stay one step ahead of them. With a bit of forward thinking and a lot of preparation, you can fly through to the end zone.